UPDATE: FLORIDA PASSES REVENGE PORN LAW

Earlier this month I wrote about the proposed law that would make “sexual cyberharrassment” (revenge porn) a crime. On Wednesday of this week the Florida Legislature passed the law, and it is now on its way to be signed into law by the governor.

As passed the law says this:

Anyone who “publish[es] a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person to an Internet website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person” commits

The new law also allows police officers to arrest someone without a warrant as long as there is probable cause to believe a person has committed the crime.

One potentially overbroad section of the new law allows the police to get a search warrant for a residence as long as there is probable cause to believe “evidence relevant to proving that sexual cyberharassment has been committed” is located inside. This paints with a pretty broad brush, since any computer, phone, ipad, etc. that has been used to view an image in violation of the law could be relevant evidence.

A victim of sexual cyberharrassment (revenge porn) can also file a civil lawsuit against a person who publishes their picture on the internet, and recover the greater of $5,000.00 or their actual damages, as well as their attorney’s fees and costs.

Te new law also contains a “carve out” for internet service providers, meaning that services like facebook and twitter can’t be liable for one of their users posting photos with the service.

Concerns

In my last post on this, I expressed some concern about the vagueness of the definition of the term “image,” since it could potentially include things like cartoons or drawings. Now that it’s been passed we will have to see how the courts interpret this new law.